The concept of personal branding has been around for years, and is becoming more and more relevant. Modern audiences are deeply inclined to trust an individual over a company. Personal branding allows you to establish yourself in your industry, while still maintaining a personal level of trust.
The key to personal branding is visibility. Regardless of your credibility or expertise, if no one knows about you, it won’t do you any good. Awareness and reputation is everything. You have to make yourself known, and, the most cost effective way to build your personal brand is through social media.
Step 1: Determine your Expertise
Before you start writing blogs or post on your social media channels, decide your area of expertise. What do you want to be known for? Don’t be generic. Chose something that makes you stand out from the rest of the professionals in your industry. For example, you want to be known as an expert in Public Relations, maybe chose a sector like soft power initiatives that will help you stand out in a broad category.
Step 2: Know what Channels are Available to You
Social Media is essentially free promotion for you, so know what is available and relevant for building your personal brand. There are the most popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram, but look for ways to utilise other social media tools like Periscope, Tumblr, etc. to help you reach new audiences. As a reference, here is a list of Time Magazine’s 61 Best Social Media Tools to try.
Step 3: Update your Social Media Profiles
Update your profiles for consistency that is inline with the personal brand you are trying to achieve. This includes updating your bio and making your profile look more professional. It might be a worthwhile investment to get a professional headshot to use across your profiles.
Step 4: Write and Post Regularly
Create your own blog and write about what you know. Tie in current events for relevance and start sharing your expertise. Share these posts across all of your social media accounts from Facebook to LinkedIn to help build your online reputation. It’s also helpful to find opportunities to guest blog and then repost it across your own social media channels. Guest blogging is a good way to gain third party endorsement as you build your credibility.
Don’t be afraid to repost relevant content from other credible sources on occasion. It’s important you know and share what is happing in your industry. Just remember to post regularly and consistently.